Ever since the unfortunate and, frankly, terrifying election of Donald Trump as United States President, we’ve been hearing a mantra from Trump supporters, offended that the world of sanity and connection to reality thinks of them as racist, homophobic, misogynistic troglodytes, that Trump’s surprise victory had nothing to do with racism and intolerance but, instead, was a working class revolt against the tyranny of political correctness. “Political correctness is a new form of Fascism,” they say, “forced down our throats by an intolerant left and Socialist college professors, who want to cast us out of their inner circle if we fail to march in lock step with their elitist ideas.”
These Trump supporters want us to know that they smile at African-Americans and hold the door for them when they are entering buildings. They think it’s important that we understand they have a Hispanic coworker or a favorite gay waiter they treat as a friend and, therefore, have their tender feelings hurt when they are called mean names like “racist” or “homophobe”. They are just fed up with being oppressed by liberal monsters who suggest their religious beliefs are not sufficient excuse to discriminate against any whose life-styles they oppose.
If you are, in fact, one of these Trump supporters, allow me to explain why your protestations and clever rewriting of history leave those of us in the fact-based community scratching and shaking our heads.
First off, this had nothing at all to do with a working class revolt. That sounds nice but it is total and complete bullshit. The actual numbers show that people who make under $50,000 a year voted for Hillary Clinton. It was those making $50,000 a year and above who lifted Mr. Pussy Grab to his position of power. Surprising as it may seem, there was nothing in the slightest “working-class” about Trump’s victory.
Secondly, political correctness does go too far sometimes. Those of us on the left can be overzealous and this has led to abuses, most noticeably on college campuses, where it has been known to become nit-picky to a pretty ridiculous degree.
Political correctness, however, is merely a symptom and a response to a much larger problem, which is the centuries long oppression and discrimination of anyone who doesn’t fit the extremely narrow straight, white, Christian male mold.
African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans and Muslim-Americans and Gay-Americans and Female-Americans have gotten the short end of the stick for far too long and are now pretty pissed about it. They are demanding that you treat them with respect and dignity and as equals and, if you can’t bring yourself to commit to that, at the very least they would like you to use language that approximates it. They believe it is time you exhibited a little sensitivity to their needs and feelings instead of what you have done for practically all of human history, which is to think only of yourself. They think it is a little repugnant and childish that when you are being asked to be a little more sensitive to others, you protest that you are being oppressed and your rights are being taken away. You never really had the right to be shitty to the rest of the world, you only thought you did. Only someone coming from a very lofty position of white privilege can look at history and the world and declare that political correctness is the greatest problem facing mankind. Look, I’m a straight, white, male myself, so I know it can be difficult to see past our ego-driven tunnel vision, but I think it’s time we started listening to what the rest of the world has been trying to tell us for centuries now.
Moreover, you can point to the gay people you care about as proof of your lack of homophobia but, right now, your hero and savior is assembling a cabinet of the most extreme anti-LGBTQ radicals in America. It’s a little disingenuous to say you love the gay people in your life and support a man like Mike Pence, who believes that gays need to be forcibly converted to heterosexuality and that even applying for a marriage license as a gay couple should be considered a crime. Don’t even get me started on what his anti-science posse plans to do to environmental protections. I know you believe that man-made climate change is an insidious, liberal hoax.
So you can spend the next four years telling us that we don’t understand what the Trump revolution is about and that you are just good people and, in your heart of hearts, you don’t believe you are a racist, but the ugly truth is, you really are.